|curator's statement||august 2010 selection|
t h e i n f i d e l s ' h a l l e l u j a h
c u r a t o r s : g u y b e r u b e a n d f r a n c e s c o c o r s a r o
In this series of chosen works, Bérubé touches on the delicate relationship between artist and dealer, a relationship that is vastly different, depending on whose point of view is considered. This is a business relationship that endeavors to achieve success by way of savvy marketing, media coverage, and buzz for a product that both parties involved hope inspires a buying public to make this public display of ideas and talent a part of their private lives. A constant force between these two parties is the sometimes conflicting interests shared by either of the two. Sales, artistic acclaim, street cred, one-upmanship and any of a number of other factors all combine to create what all involved hope will lead to a sense of fulfillment.
Having known Guy since I moved to Ottawa, I can say with certainty that the works selected for this exhibition accurately represent Guys taste for l'art brut and all it represents. In a way, working with Guy in choosing these works was a bit of a metaphor for the relationship between dealer and artist. In turn, one of us would select a group of works in a fit of excitement while the other examined them with a critical eye validating the choices or recommending their exclusion for one reason or another. Without delving too deeply philosophically, we both worked with the goal in mind to bring together a collection of work that represents a central idea -- the Infidels Hallelujah.
-- Francesco Corsaro
b i o g r a p h y
Guy Bérubé's vision for La Petite Mort is truly -- and perhaps surprisingly, given the gallery's name -- a vision of social ethics. He sees the artist's struggle with self-awareness through visual art reflected back to the viewer not as passive recipient but as active participant in the creative endeavour. A signature feature of LPM is the feeling of discomfort many of the artworks evoke, which, as is the goal of subversive art, reflects the viewer's personal projections back upon herself. This discomfort is a necessary part of Bérubé's aesthetic and ethical sensibility. It recognizes the role of art in alienation and in critical transformation, for cultural progress is usually provoked by the ideas invoked at the boundaries of our communities. LPM artists represent subjects at the margins of contemporary Canadian urban society -- the sublime as well as the homeless and the schizophrenic -- no different than most mainstream art since the post-Renaissance period. Not here to shock nor to entertain, however, Bérubé as LPM gallery owner and director is here to provide an inclusive forum for today's Canadian & international artists, including those typically sidelined by mainstream society and those simply unable to function normally within it. He gives the Canadian visual arts community an edge that not only gives art a vehicle for its traditional cultural role, but is acknowledged for giving Canadian Art that edge that contributes to its recognition on the world stage.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Francesco Corsaro earned a B.A. in Fine Art History and Italian Studies at the University of Toronto. A career arts administrator, Francesco has worked for various arts organizations including The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto Artscape, and the National Arts Centre Foundation, among others. Having moved to Ottawa, Ontario, Francesco divides his time between the Bytown Museum as the Director of Development and Festival X, Ottawa Photography Festival where he is co-founder and Vice President. Francesco was also the Director of the now-defunct IPO Gallery, a gallery for emerging artists.